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D&D 3E
Yeah... So I'm taking my first steps into the world of DMing, and… 
3rd-Jan-2006 10:44 pm
Mushroom Cloud
Yeah... So I'm taking my first steps into the world of DMing, and while the DMG is very detailed in it's explanation, I think tips from experienced DMs would be a big help as well. So if anyone can give me some suggestions as to what I can do to start off right, it would be greatly appreciated.
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(Deleted comment)
4th-Jan-2006 09:22 am (UTC)
Thank you for the advice, I actually have been addressing some of the issues you mentioned (not getting bogged down by rules, equal attention, etc.), with myself. I'm happy to say, I'm working on a few quick systems that with allow me to maximize play time, while giving the players enough freedom to get what they want done.

God bless Post-it notes. (^_^) Always good for keeping quick references in veiwing range.
4th-Jan-2006 04:38 am (UTC)
Start small! I constantly make the mistake of trying to plan out the whole world, and outline this huge plot so I can put hooks for way in the future in early adventures and stuff. A bad guy, some minions, three or four locations, two bits of loot per PC, go back and figure out how the bad guy and minions are currently using that loot, maybe even one clever tactic, and go for it. You can build up on that formula later.
4th-Jan-2006 05:04 am (UTC) - You aren't a player anymore
One of the biggest mistakes novice GMs make is running a "GM character." Never, ever do this. NPCs that travel with the party should be either assistants of a lower level, mentors of a higher level (and who are occupied by their own challenges when the PCs are in a fight), or not-so-trustworthy rivals of equal level (who might just turn on them in the middle of a fight.)

Also, while you shouldn't be afraid to play it by ear, you should respect your player's understanding of the rules. If they've got the book open in front of them and can quote the rule right at you, and you haven't declared a house rule, follow the book.
4th-Jan-2006 06:51 am (UTC)
More advice here.

My one piece of advice I always give to new DMs is be wary of how much reward you give out-- especially treasure. Don't give the PCs too much-- the 'Monty Haul' approach to DMing is badbadbad. Use the tables and charts in the DMG, and you can usually come out OK. And it's always easier to give out more later if you find the PCs lagging behind than to take away what you've already given.
4th-Jan-2006 08:07 am (UTC) - Check out the achives too.
4th-Jan-2006 06:04 pm (UTC)
Don't be afraid to say "no," or "I'll need to think about that and get back to you." New DMs sometimes let players push them into allowing equipment, prestige classes, etc., that may not work well in that DM's campaign. Try not to let one character dominate the game, that gets boring and/or frustrating for the other players very quickly.

I'd also suggest keeping house rules to a minimum - it can be difficult to keep track of them. And see if you can get your players to at least start with characters of somewhat similar alignment (i.e., the party is either neutral-to-good or neutral-to-evil). It can help cut down on rivalry/conflict within the party, which can make your life a little easier. Ask your players to make sure their characters can actually work together - sure, no group of people gets along perfectly all the time, but some characters seem designed to create conflict and problems within the party, and that can turn into a real headache.
4th-Jan-2006 11:14 pm (UTC)
I've been running games for the better part of 10 years now. The number one point of advice I'd be able to give is try not to be a "book worm."

What I mean by that is try not to refer to any manuals during the course of play. It slows the game down dramatically.

Also...while I'm thinking about it...know the rules of the game but don't be a virtual Hitler about the rules. Some of them were made to be broken. After all players cheat...everybody flubs dice rolls and most players try to get away with things..just be able to catch it from time to time.
8th-Jan-2006 08:59 pm (UTC)
If you're still keeping up with this post, this page has a collection of helpful essays on DMing from various sources, myself included

http://www.westendforest.com/dm/index.htm
9th-Jan-2006 10:05 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the ref.
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